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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 20 January 2006
I am very interested in the topic and this book didn't disappoint. It was different from other books I have read on this subject because Kathleen still has a bitter outlook only to be expected of a person who was never really given answers to the questions she so desperatly wanted to ask back then about why she and her family were treated so awfully.
The book makes interesting points as an attempt to explain why certain things were the way they were in Ireland. Which is something that the other books I have read have a tendency to stray away from.However, Kathleen doesn't attempt to make excuses for her 'carers' and the reasons why they abused.
The main part of the story is written obviously as Kathleen the child and that does come across successfully but the end of the book becomes more adult and reflexive over her time at the Industrial School. I hope Kathleen through her research, can get the answers she so deserves.
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on 24 October 2005
I have not read a book for many years but having seen the author on a TV program I felt I had to read her novel.I found the book to be so heartwarming and thought provoking. After reading this my vision of a nun will never be the same. I thoroughly recommend this book.
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on 8 October 2005
Hi I think that this a very good book. The first one done on Irelands Industrial Schools, for Girls. What was stolen from us can never be returned. OUR Childhoold,
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on 12 April 2006
I read this book in 2 days- I could not wait to find out what happened next to Kathleen. What a wonderful woman to have the courage to write this book - how proud her mum would have been of her! I imagine many other adults who were brought up in harsh regimes and abused at a young age will relate to this book.

Considering Kathleen was constantly told she was a failure and suffered continual abuse it is truly inspirational that when she came out of the Catholic Home that she knew that it was important to find out why this experience has happened to her. Her courageous decision to research her background was the right one - I am glad she found the evidence to prove that her mother was not at all like the character she had been led to believe by the Sisters.

This is the BEST book I have read this year and would recommend it 100% to any Amazon reader.
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on 24 January 2007
I read the book with great interest and like everyone found the cruelty and unbearable lack of love so hard to fathom from supposedly loving nuns. But other organisations and people seem to escape criticism with it all landing on the nuns - where were the authorities, the visitors, the NSPCC and social services all of whom were also involved. At the same time in history life in UK was so different, why was Irish social history so very harsh?

As for what the previous writer put about why do so many follow the Catholic Faith - well it doesn't make the Catholic Faith wrong it reflects on the followers not on the ideal surely?
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on 12 March 2007
I think lots more of us would talk about our experiences at the hands of nuns if we could acheive something as positive as a calling them to account, in a radio phone in show. Profoundly exploited as a child, Kathleen only really becomes aware of how appauling her experience was, when she becomes a British Magistrate. This has probably preserved her from years of pointless introspection, at the same time providing her with weapons to fight off an Irish judiciary who still don't seem to care or take it seriously. Victim she isn't. Virago to them, I hope she is. Those who should have protected and nurtured her, abducted her and ensalved her in an Industrial School. Worse still, her mother had to pay for this. Yet Kathleen O'Malley was equipped, even as a eight year old girl, with the tools of survival. I would speculate that she is a rational optimist, and highly motivated. She would also make Madonnas efforts at reinventing herself, look like a monkey with a lip-liner and a mirror. At critical times she cleverly appeased her abusers and sought their approval. In the David and Goliath struggle she faced, it proved to be her slingshot.. she kept her enemies close and realised that vital records still existed. These vindicated her claims. She like countless others deserve not just an apology but an ABJECT apology, and compensation out of the Sisters of Mercy's personal bank account. I'd like to see an International stock take done on the financial holdings of these 'religious orders', and then a big share out to those in their 'care'. How hard wearing would their moral fiber be in the face of a little destitution. All these archives should be made available to the public, and a list of names of all the people in positions of Authority who were to blame for this disgracefull episode in Ireland's history, 'least we forget' should be errected at the site of these convent 'schools'. True, Father Ted has lightened the load but the baggage is still aboard, and Ireland is still what Geldof called the Banana Republic. Check out the missing persons bureau. Ireland is the only country in the EU that does not have one.
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on 9 January 2006
This book written on Golden Bridge should be read by anyone who is connected to that past.
My Mother was a golden bridge orphan (or should i say prisoner) it caused her much sorrow in her life that she never recovered from as i am sure many others were and are in that position.I am sure it has brought back very many unhappy memories for many people.
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on 29 September 2015
Very interesting to read of the disappointingly cruel treatment used by Nuns during these years

These children deserved the best and most loving treatment but were given the exact opposite ie the worst.

Fortunately Kathleen and her family had a very loving Mother 'tho wrongly separated from the family

Miraculously Kathleen had a happy marriage, an intelligent son and achieved her desire to become a Magistrate

I hope the Nuns and any Caring professionals in our country and Ireland today learn that Love is of paramount importance when caring for folk and especially children
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on 8 March 2014
I grew up in Dublin in the fifties and I vividly remember how my sister was treated by the so called caring nuns. She was beaten nearly every day because she could not learn Gaelic. This poor girl was treated very badly and let down by the authorities read this book and you can feel her pain in every page.
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on 8 September 2006
I took this book to read on holiday and found I had quickly finished it as I was unable to put it down. This is well written and the stark pictures that Kathleen paints of her childhood are unbelievably horrendous. This story makes you want to comfort each and every one of those poor children. How very sad to know that nuns could behave like this.
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